A Tougher Obama Takes on Critics

A more combative President Obama takes on critics of his healthcare and economic plans.

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Pollster John Zogby regularly updates our ObamaMeter. Each week, Zogby uses his polling, expert analysis, and interaction with major players to come up with a rating of between 1 and 100. The ObamaMeter is not a strictly poll-based job approval number. Instead, the Washington Whispers ObamaMeter is Zogby's judgment on the performance of the president once multiple factors are considered.

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"It looks like 'no more Mr. Nice Guy' for Barack Obama. With Republicans out to stop healthcare reform and moderate Democrats balking at the costs of reform and any tax increases to pay for it, Obama is all over the media, calling out Republicans and liberal bloggers on Democrats who want to delay a vote and oppose the public-plan option. The new, more combative Obama arrives none too soon, as voters are losing faith in an economic recovery and reacting to health reform in ways that resemble those of 1994. He needs to be on the offensive, because growing voter impatience is leading to some real erosion in his approval numbers.

This week: down to 79.

Last week's rating: 81

John Zogby is president and CEO of Zogby International, a public opinion, research, and business solutions firm with experience in more than 70 countries. Founded and led by Zogby since 1984, Zogby International specializes in telephone, Internet, and face-to-face survey research and analysis for corporate, political, nonprofit, and governmental clients. The firm is headquartered in Utica, N.Y. John Zogby is also the author of The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).